A Japanese aircraft that was launched on May 9, 2003, from the Kagoshima Amplitude Center, landed on the asteroid Itokawa in November 2005, and is appointed to acknowledgment to Earth with a landing abreast Woomera, Austl., in June 2010. Hayabusa has accomplished several abstruse problems but has alternate abundant admired accurate abstracts on Itokawa.
Since bang into an interplanetary alteration orbit, the aircraft has been propelled by four baby ion engines. However, a ample solar blaze in November 2003 bargain the electrical achievement of the solar arrays and appropriately the advance that the engines could accommodate to Hayabusa. This delayed the planned affair from June 2005 to Sept. 12, 2005, if Hayabusa accomplished a station-keeping position that finer was about anchored about to the asteroid. The aircraft had aswell suffered thruster leaks and array and accessories failures that fabricated operations awfully challenging.
Instruments cover the Asteroid Multi-band Imaging Camera (AMICA), bittersweet and X-ray spectrometers, and a ablaze apprehension and alignment (lidar) system. AMICA took images during the entering access to analyze the asteroid's rotational arbor and again mapped Itokawa as it rotated beneath the spacecraft. The spectrometers assayed the actinic and concrete backdrop of the surface. The lidar arrangement that was acclimated mapped the asteroid's topography. Hayabusa aswell agitated a baby apprentice alleged MINERVA (MIcro/Nano Experimental Apprentice Vehicle for Asteroid) that was advised to move beyond Itokawa's apparent by bent from abode to place.